Survey finds U.S. military plagued with low morale

The U.S. military, the most powerful military in the world, has a severe morale problem.

A Military Times survey of 2,300 active-duty troops conducted in July-August 2014, found morale indicators on the decline in nearly every aspect of military life. Troops report significantly lower overall job satisfaction, diminished respect for their superiors, and a declining interest in re-enlistment compared to just five years ago.

tired soldierIn Part One of a 3-part series, “America’s Military: A force adrift,” Hope Hodge Seck reports for Military Times, Dec. 7, 2014, that after 13 years of war — the war in Afghanistan is now the longest U.S. war — America’s all-volunteer military is entering an era fraught with uncertainty and a growing sense that the force has been left adrift. Today’s service members say they feel underpaid, under-equipped and under-appreciated. Troops say morale has sharply declined over the last five years, and most of those in uniform today believe their quality of life will only get worse. Compared to 2009, more are unhappy with their pay and health care, and very few trust that senior leaders fully support them.

Here are the findings of the survey:

1. Quality of life

  • In 2009, 91% of active-duty troops rated their overall quality of life to be good or excellent.
  • In 2014, only 56% thought so.
  • Worse still, 70% in 2014 believe their “quality of life will decline in coming years.”

2. Pessimism about post-9/11wars

  • The survey found 52% said they had become more pessimistic about the war in Afghanistan in recent years.
  • Nearly 60% felt the war in Iraq was somewhat unsuccessful or not at all successful.

3. Pay and allowances

Congress this year capped the military pay raise at 1% instead of the 1.8% that would have kept pace with average annual growth in private-sector wages. It was the first military pay raise since 1999 that did not at least keep pace with private-sector wages, and it was also the lowest annual military pay raise in 40 years.

  • In 2009, 87% of active-duty troops who participated in Military Times‘ survey rated their pay and allowances “good” or “excellent.”
  • In 2014, the figure was just 44%.

4. evaluation of superiors

On whether military officers are good or excellent:

  • In 2009, 78% regarded their officers overall to be good or excellent.
  • In 2014, that percentage fell to 49%.

On whether “senior military leadership has my best interests at heart”:

  • In 2009, 53% agreed.
  • In 2014, only 27% agreed.

5. Health care

  • In 2009, 78% rated their military health care as good or excellent.
  • In 2014, only 45% similarly rated their healthcare.

6. Military supplies and equipment

On whether “people in the military are supplied with the best possible equipment”:

  • In 2009, 47% agreed.
  • In 2014, 36% agreed.

7. Recommend military career to others

  • In 2009, 85% of troops would recommend a military career to others.
  • In 2014, 73% of troops would recommend a military career to others.

8. Desire to reenlist

  • In 2009, 72% said they intended to re-enlist.
  • In 2014, 63% said they would re-enlist. Military Times says “Many of them hang on only because prospects for good civilian jobs have been dismal for many years. And often those who do land good jobs on the outside are those the military can least afford to lose.”

Read the full Military Times article, here.

H/t Consortium’s M.S.

See also:



6 responses to “Survey finds U.S. military plagued with low morale

  1. Gee I wonder WHY morale in military is at an all time low?? Could it be for the fact that unprecedented numbers of MALE military have been sexually abused by homosexual members and that they can’t do anything about it (like kick them out) and that the media has a field day demoralizing troops and soldiers daily? Read what (Ret) USN Capt Jim Jefferis had to brilliantly say about homosexuals in the military:
    “During my enlisted service, homosexuals seemed to be a clumsy lot. They had a tendency to repeatedly fall headfirst down an engineroom ladder. Some were even known to trip on deck and “fall” overboard. The crew had a way of policing themselves to eliminate homosexual advances. Perhaps you are correct in your assumption that military personnel are more liberal today, but I would look very closely at prevalent attitudes before I closed the book on the issue.” that’s not all- here’s the rest

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Fellowship of the Minds and commented:
    To the Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, are you happy now?


  3. Combat tours for 5 or 8 times has record suicide rates now on veterans! People are not machines that just wind up to face death for years! Low troop count is killing survivors by PTSD!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:
    Why is the morale so low? That is not hard to understand. When someone breaks a rule, the government’s response is to discipline everyone by inventing another rule. This clutters up the work process and discourages the soldiers with unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. The top doesn’t following their own rules. The soldiers become frustrated when they are required to follow the letter of the law and then watch as the “high-ups” skirt all of the rules. The government’s policies and procedures often make as much sense as its rules and are just as damaging to morale.

    The onl y thing soldiers watch more intently than how the government spend its resources is how it treats its people – whatever happened to the other guy can happen to me. When soldiers are treated with respect and dignity, the soldiers notice. Morale is then good. But when soldiers are treated without respect and dignity, it is bye-bye to morale. It is time for the government to swing morale. It is their call! Why is this leader reducing the size of the military when we have the turmoil in the Middle East. You would think that he would be increasing it – rather than handing out pink slips and then enlisting illegals who do not speak English – does that make sense? Another good example is the Veterans Administration (VA). Why is it this leader despises the military – is he afraid of them?

    Liked by 1 person

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